Friday, December 4, 2015

Hardy Boys #1 The Tower Treasure

I read the Hardy Boys books around 20 years ago.  I read through most of the original text books and read at least a few revised text books.  I don't remember the specifics except that I didn't care for the few revised text books I read.  I also struggled with some of the original text books, although I don't know which ones.  I do recall that I didn't like the scenes in which the boys horse around.

I was left with the general impression that I didn't like boys' series nearly as much as girls' series.  In the last 1 1/2 years, I have read many boys' series for the first time and found that I liked them far more than I expected.  My opinion has shifted to where I now realize that I do like boys' series, at least ones like Rick Brant and the Three Investigators.  I still have the lingering opinion that I don't care much for the type that is like the Hardy Boys.  I suspect that my opinion will improve when I read the Hardy Boys this time since I have read so many boys' series.  I expect still not to like the scenes in which the boys horse around.  Let's get started and see what happens.

In the original text of Hardy Boys #1, The Tower Treasure, Frank and Joe Hardy want to be detectives like their father, Fenton Hardy, more than anything.  The boys quickly find two opportunities to prove themselves.  First, Chet Morton's car is stolen.  Next, valuable jewels and securities are stolen from Mr. Applegate.  The father of the Hardys' friend, Perry Robinson, is accused of the theft, so the boys do what they can to find the culprit.

The poking fun at the police is a bit much for me.  I recall that Leslie McFarlane really liked putting that sort of thing in the Hardy Boys books, but it does not appeal to me.  I find it a bit concerning that Bayport's law enforcement is completely incompetent.  

In the beginning of the book, Frank and Joe ride through the countryside on their motorcycles carrying on a normal conversation.  Wouldn't it be hard to talk while speeding along on motorcycles?

The boys deliver papers for their father just like Nancy Drew does in the first volume of her series.  Nancy Drew, of course, was published three years after this series began.

The scene where Chet has fun with the hay wagon driver does not appeal to me.  This is the type of scene that I recall from the Hardy Boys series that caused me not to like the series as much as girls' series that I had read.  Since I felt this way about the Hardy Boys, I concluded that I did not like boys' series.  I did not realize that series like Rick Brant and Ken Holt do not have scenes like this.

The scene in which the boys questioned the farmers who simply wouldn't answer their questions was annoying to me as well.

However, I did greatly enjoy the "bomb under the fruit stand" scene, although the boys sure risked getting themselves into a lot of trouble.

I am generally not interested in reading the revised text versions of the stories, and I own very few of them.  I did skim the revised text of this book, because I wanted to see whether anything I didn't like was removed from the revised text.  In the revised text, the boys quickly conclude that the wrecked car is the one that nearly ran them off the road.  It takes the boys forever to draw that conclusion in the original text, so the revised text is better in that aspect.

The hay wagon scene was removed from the revised text, which in my opinion is a plus.  The scene in which the boys question the farmers was not removed.

The stereotypes were toned down in the revised text.

The boys take a more active role in the detecting in the revised text.  In the original text, Fenton Hardy does much of the investigating himself, which is just plain bizarre.  It works in that the original text is the very first book in the series but is strange since this is the Hardy Boys series.

While I overall enjoyed the first book, it is weak and will likely be one of my least favorites.  I recall not liking it very much when I read it 20 years ago. I think I would have liked the overall story better if I had read the revised text, since it corrected some of the problems that annoyed me.  Even though I might have liked the revised text better, the original text is written better and is much more descriptive.

No comments: